Some Life Lessons And Other Points of View


    • I’m trying to avoid a knee jerk reaction to the Bears questionable signing of defensive end Ray McDonald. Let’s just say I’m a bit disturbed by the repetitive nature of his apparent transgressions and leave it at that until I can get some more of my questions answered.
    • Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have signed defensive end Jarvis Jenkins. Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times reports that they also signed linebacker Mason Foster. Kevin Patra at characterizes Jenkins as “a mediocre run defender” that “provides little in terms of a pass rush”. Connor Orr at the same site is more positive about Foster, saying that he’s durable and that his “ability to defend the pass — Foster has five picks over the last four years, including two returned for touchdowns — should also help add some much-needed range and versatility to a dusty Bears front seven”.

      The good news is that they’re on one-year prove it deals. The bad news?

      Jenkins record as a Washington Redskin: 17-31

      Foster’s record as a Buccaneer: 17-47

      I know that beggars can’t be choosers but do these guys sound like winners to you? Just sayin’…

    • John Mullin at says that former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs could be headed to either Tampa Bay or San Francisco. Briggs still has a year or two left in him but I think he pretty much burned his bridges in Chicago with stunts like missing practice for the famous “Double Nickel Barbecue” opening the first week of the NFL season. This could be good signing for teams with coaches who have better control of their players.

Its pretty rare when a re-draft gives the Bears the same player that they actually took in retrospect. But that’s what happened when Bucky Brooks at did a re-draft of 2014 and still gave the Bears Kyle Fuller.


  • Running back Michael Bush reacts to his time in the forty yard dash at the NFL Veteran Combine. Via Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times:

    “It was an unofficial time, but the 4.91-second 40-yard dash crushed the former Bears running back. Visibly dazed, his face acted out the five stages of grief in the next five minutes.”

  • Marc Sessler at on the NFL Veterans Combine: “It was like watching Old Yeller get shot 105 times”.
  • Steve Rosenbloom at the Chicago Tribune on the NFL Draft coming to Chicago: “Thank God we didn’t get the Olympics.” Amen to that.
  • Cleveland emerged as the favorite to be on the HBO series “Hard Knocks” over the weekend. Pat McManamon at ESPN doesn’t think it would be good for quarterback Johnny Manziel to be on the show his first camp coming out of rehab. I’d tend to agree. Personally I have almost no hope that Manziel will ever be a decent NFL quarterback but if he’s to have any shot at it, minimizing distractions is going to be critical. Manziel would probably make everyone in Cleveland happiest if he got off Twitter and kept his mouth shut as much as possible with limited media exposure. That might be his only hope.
  •‘s Bucky Brooks has quarterback Marcus Mariota falling to New Orleans at 13 slot in the first round. I doubt he’d get any lower than that but I guess you never know. He has the Bears taking wide receiver Amari Cooper.
  • The time for Adrian Peterson and his agent Ben Dogra to face facts and accept that Peterson is playing for Minnesota or nobody next year is fast approaching. Rather than quote the whole article, I’ll just refer you to Mike Florio‘s post at and leave it at that.
  • Kind of having a hard time understanding why the Lions wouldn’t pick up Riley Reiff‘s fifth year option but if they’re going to, they aren’t saying so. Good offensive linemen don’t grow on trees. Or maybe they do. I’ve always been a little mixed up on that “birds and the bees” thing. Via Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press.
  • Rob Demovsky at ESPN details the problems the Packers currently have at inside linebacker. Both A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones were released last month. How bad is it? The depth chart at doesn’t even list a second starter.

One Final Thought

Laura Pavin quotes former Bears tight end Desmond Clark on how his life turned around:

“When one of his dad’s drug-dealing friends began trying to recruit Clark into a life of drug dealing, his cousin, also a crack addict, became furious. She told him that Clark was meant for more than the life she, his dad and his brother — who was selling drugs — were leading.

“‘I walked out of the house that day feeling a little different about myself, thinking ‘Hey, maybe I can be something beyond this situation,’ said Clark, 37. ‘As I grew up, what I took from that was that you can speak life into other people.'”

When I started reading this article, I thought it was going to be the typical “My mother was a saint and helped me come from nothing to the NFL” kind of read. Instead, it was surprisingly good with some interesting life lessons. It’s recommended reading.

Avoiding Potentially Bad Situations

Florida State v Boston College

Brendan Sonnone at the Orlando Sentinel quotes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the possibility that likely first overall pick Jameis Winston won’t attend the draft:

“‘I think that it’s something we respect when a player says, ‘I’d like to be with my family on that day,’’ Goodell told SI. ‘It’s an important day for them also.'”

Sonnone also points out that Winston “could be subject to boos from various fans at the draft – a time-honored tradition”. He’s got a point. Some might remember what happened when a Florida State employee inexplicably asked fans to Tweet questions to Winston using the #AskJameis tag. Let’s just say that some of the responses were creative. I doubt very much that either Florida State or Winston has forgotten the lesson – you take your chances when you expose yourself to a public situation that is largely out of your control.

Though Winston’s problems are of his own making, I could hardly blame him for declining the invitation.

When Just Drafting a Quarterback Isn’t Enough

Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune passes on comments from Bears general manager Ryan Pace indicating that he will likely take a quarterback in the NFL draft in five weeks. He’s not ruling out Marcus Mariota in the first round:

“And not only that, if Pace does make such a move five weeks from now, it likely won’t be the last time he takes a draft-weekend swing at the position.

“Said Pace: ‘I think it’s a good idea to add a quarterback every year.'”

“‘It’s a critical position,’ Pace said. ‘Because of that you can take a swing every year at it. Increase your odds.'”

I, like all of the other fans in Chicago, have heard this statement now from Jerry Angelo, Phil Emery and now Pace. So you’ll excuse me if I’m a bit skeptical.  I’ve little doubt that Pace will take a quarterback this year.  But beyond that past experience tells me that other team needs have a bad habit of taking precedence and before you know it, its the sixth round and you’re looking at taking yet another guy who ha virtually no shat at being anything other than a back up.

The other thing to point out – and I believe this is more important – is that just taking a quarterback isn’t enough. It’s far more critical (and more difficult) to develop one. Getting the right quarterback coach is crucial to the future success at the position and, therefore, of the franchise. Whether current quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains is the right guy for the job is, at minimum, an open question. But regardless perhaps the Bears should consider adding a new coach who knows something about quarterbacks until they get that position right, too.